During the Meiji period at the turning point for a new era in Japan, Fukuzawa Yukichi was perhaps one of the greatest visionary leaders. Especially, the spirit of “Personal independence without relying on the government” and his way of life were extraordinary considering the situation at the time, and I believe this was Fukuzawa Yukichi I admire at his best.
This spirit of Fukuzawa Yukichi is even today one of the universally accepted social values. What is remarkable about Fukuzawa Yukichi is that he practiced this ideology. In other words, it wasn’t just lip service. He started up institutions such as Keio University (human resource development), Kojunsha (business community interaction), Jiji Shinpo (media), Gakushiin (scientists). Furthermore, he wrote a lot of deep, insightful, visionary novels starting from “An Encouragement of Learning” (Gakumon-no-susume) and “An Outline of a Theory of Civilization” (Bunmei-Ron-no-Gairyaku). He was truly a superman.
Maybe for these reasons, I have several personal ties with Keio University. If you search “Keio University” or “Fukuzawa Yukichi” on my website, a number of postings on Fukuzawa Yukichi should come up.
In 2010 and 2011 during the autumn semester, I taught a class on the Keio’s Shonan Campus. In 2010, I also spoke about a topic on “Global agenda and Japan’s risk management.”
Several years ago, a leadership development program called Fukuzawa Bunmei Juku was launched. There are a lot of great lecturers lined up. I took part in it about four years ago, and also last year in the final session of the 8th period.
Together with the aim of making young people find their career on their own, I strongly agree with the idea of putting emphasis on the spirit of Fukuzawa Yukichi even today, or rather, because the time is now.
I got to meet a lot of spirited young people.